MASS TO BAN DISPOSAL OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE

By Bob Katzen

The Judiciary Committee held a virtual hearing on legislation, filed by Sen. Susan Moran (D-Falmouth), that would ban disposal of radioactive material directly or indirectly into coastal or inland waters, tide water or land owned by another entity. The measure imposes fines ranging from up to $10,000 for a first offense and up to $25,000 for any second and subsequent offenses. It also holds the offender liable for all damages or losses suffered by the state, a business or an individual as a result of the disposal.

According to Moran’s office, she filed the bill as a response to a proposal by Holtec International, the company responsible for decommissioning the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, to dump radioactive discharge into Cape Cod Bay made last November after agreeing to a two-year moratorium. Moran says that the disposal of such discharge into the Bay would pose significant public health risks and impact the viability of the local shellfish industry, particularly in the Southeast and Cape Cod, as well as potentially deteriorate the region’s coastal ecosystems and compound the already present impacts of climate change.

“Holtec’s plan would introduce dangerous pollutants into the Commonwealth’s coasts,” said Moran. “We must be sure that the national business of nuclear plant closures does not overshadow the foundation of our local economies, coastal resilience and the health of current and future generations in Southeastern Mass and the Cape. Coastal resources are too precious to waste on dumping radioactive material in favor of the corporate bottom-line.”

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